Over the past two weeks, we have had a look at files and other media supported by some of the leading gaming consoles on the market; the PlayStation 4, PSP, and PS Vita and the Xbox One. Today, we shall have a look at the more “family friendly” gaming console from Nintendo, the Wii U. Lets find out which media files, discs, and streaming services are supported by the Nintendo console.
Discs and Games
Contrary to the Xbox One and PS4, the Wii U is able to support almost all already existing Wii games. Using the Wii menu on your new Wii U enables you to play the old games for the consoles predecessor, as well as downloaded WiiWare and saved game data. Even formerly created Mii’s can be transfered to the new console. This makes the Wii U the most backwards compatible console out of the three. Instead of the Wii U Game Pad, however, you have to use your Wii Remote to play the old games.
Unfortunately, and again contrary to the aforementioned gaming consoles, the Wii U does not play any kind of DVD, Blu-Ray, or audio CD.
In sum, the Wii U supports the following discs and games:
- Wii U games
- Wii games
While the Nintendo console does have several ports for external devices, the USB storage and SD cards compatible with the Wii U do not allow you to watch media directly from one of these devices. Instead, they can be used to increase the internal storage of the console.
Thus, there is no real chance to plug in a USB stick to your Wii U and watch a movie or listen to music. While this limits the possibilities to watch things using your Wii U console, there is a neat way around this: streaming from your computer directly.
This can be achieved using software like Plex or Playon. After installing the program on your computer and specifying the folder(s) in which you store your media data, your Wii U is able to connect with the apps and play the movie, song, or display pictures via the console.
The downside to this is that you need to keep your computer running to use this service. However, this means there is no file format restriction bound to the Wii U and you can watch videos and pictures, or listen to music of any format supported by the app you are using.
Video on Demand
One way to watch the newest series and movies (and old ones, of course) without having to establish a large collection of DVDs and Blu-Rays at home, is to stream your favorite media online. The Wii U supports different VOD (Video On Demand) channels for this purpose. Keep in mind though, that for some of them an existing membership with the respective service is necessary.
- Amazon Instant Video
- Hulu Plus
Furthermore, it is possible to stream videos from a home DVR or the television onto the Wii U Game Pad.